Western Conference Game 7 Preview
Here's some NBA history - take it as you'd like:
Only nine teams have ever climbed out of three games-to-one holes to win a playoff series ... the other 223 teams that were down 3-1 wound up losing those series.
Now, the Golden State Warriors -- a team that we wondered aloud if they had the grit, the heart and the strength to win a gotta-have-it Game 6 on the road this past Saturday night - aim to be the tenth team in NBA lore to win a best-of-seven set after being faced with elimination in Games 5, 6 and now 7.
In case you were wondering, the Warriors entered this series a prohibitive favorite (- 340 to Oklahoma City's + 280) and now they have a Game 7 on their own floor where they've lost just once this post-season (see Game 1 of this series).
OKLAHOMA CITY at GOLDEN STATE - Series tied 3-3; 9 p.m. ET on TNT
Had to chuckle the other night following the Warriors' heroic 108-101 triumph in Game 6 after being down just about the whole shootin' match: Okie City head coach Billy Donovan claimed his Thunder team already was "excited" to be playing in a Game 7 ... like hell they are!
Until further notice, Game 6 will be remembered in/around Oklahoma City as "The One That Got Away" as the Thunder sported healthy leads for much of the contest and even led by eight points with five minutes remaining when star-of-stars Klay Thompson bagged a long top-of-the-key three-pointer and then the champs really got serious. Thompson - who netted an NBA playoff-record 11 trifectas (and scored 41 points) was simply amazing and TNT's Charles Barkley accurately pointed out that it was Thompson who kept the Warriors "in" the game in the first place, not Steph Curry (who did finish with 31 points and dazzled late).
Still, what possibly can be the mind-set for the visiting Thunder who committed six turnovers in the game's final three minutes - ugh! - and couldn't get a stop when needed?
If Okie City - a 7-point underdog here for Game 7 at press time - has any semblance of a shot to steal this series, then that duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook (a combined 20-of-58 from the floor for 57 points in Game 6) must show a little faith in some of the other shooters. Tell us now that either Dion Waiters or Andre Roberson is gonna kick in a 17-to-20-point game and we'll give OKC a legit chance.
Here's how this playoff series has gone so far between the Thunder and the Warriors (all home teams are in CAPS below):
|5-16||Okla City||+ 7.5||GOLDEN ST||108-102|
|5-18||GOLDEN ST||- 9||Okla City||118-91|
|5-22||OKLA CITY||+ 2.5||Golden St.||133-105|
|5-24||OKLA CITY||+ 2||Golden St.||118-94|
|5-26||GOLDEN ST||- 7.5||Okla City||120-111|
|5-28||Golden St||+ 3.5||OKLA CITY||108-101|